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plumbing-840835_1920-300x200During an undercover operation in Sarasota County, Florida last week, 17 people were arrested on charges of workers’ compensation fraud, unlicensed contracting, and other criminal charges.

“Operation Hammer Down II” was the result of a partnership between the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), the Sarasota County Building Department, and the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud. The first phase of the operation was conducted in April and resulted in six arrests.
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automobile-automotive-car-166126-300x169Angelo Adams of Miami, Florida was arrested last week for allegedly raping a teenage girl more than two decades ago.

Adams, 55, was charged with armed sexual battery. The press did not name an attorney for him.

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car-glass-rain-1765286-300x225Wilmer Omar Membreno Cruz of Hollywood, Florida is facing DUI charges after causing a crash on Mother’s Day that killed Guerda Franhille, also of Hollywood.

Membreno Cruz, 34, faces charges of negligent manslaughter, DUI with damage, and driving without a license. Records show he is being held without bond. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.

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courtroom-898931_1920-300x226A new law reforming civil asset forfeiture in Arkansas is set to come into effect in July, but critics argue there are so many loopholes that it will change little in the state.

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal procedure whereby police are able to take possession of an individual’s property if that property is suspect of being involved in a crime. In most states, no criminal conviction is required before property is seized. To seize assets in Arkansas, police only need to show that a “preponderance of the evidence” indicates the property was involved in a crime. This standard is far below the “beyond a reasonable doubt” that is required in criminal cases.
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construction-worker-569149_1920-300x200Nine people in Bakersfield in central California are facing charges for attempting to take on contracting work without workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

In April, the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) led a sting operation designed to catch contractors working without a license or carrying workers compensation insurance. Agents pretended to own a home in the Liberty Park area of the city. They invited contractors to bid on various improvement projects in the house. The bids ranged from $950 to $4,200.
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